A sentence for us

I sometimes wonder what it is that keeps me going — the lonely nights reading serious fiction, the distracted daylight hours which flit by fitfully, with no account of where they had vanished to, the passionless work with no purpose — just a habitual motion, a survival in our current cosmopolitan age, all the while trying to express myself in a tongue, which is so stilted and obtuse, that all I can manage is a mad man’s absent ramblings on the same ideas, the same imagery, the same emotions that have already been harped upon a million times by a million artists throughout the ages, albeit with fresh notes of restrung prose, to an uninterested audience who have vague impressions in their minds of what might move them, if anything could, out of the habitual grooves that they have dug themselves into, and into a new territory of thought that could be liberating, or that could at least shed some light on a dusty forgotten avenue in their hearts, a cul-de-sac which they once used to explore, but now lies neglected, gated and shunned, an enemy of the progressive forces of change, ever threatening to demolish the old mom-and-pop stores of our childhood, the stomping grounds of our coming of age, and even our last vestiges of early adulthood, those crazy years of skirt and liquor chasing, which we finally got tired of, hanging up our hats, burning a fair number of bridges, to finally settle into the morbid disease known as employment, the soul sucking corporate machinations of capitalism, mechanically cranking our automatic response settings to love money, money, and more money, so much so that we have become the very things we have tried to avoid with all our blood, yes, we are sell-out Shylocks who would rather have our pound of flesh in dollars and cents, who would prefer an ounce of gold to our mother’s smile, a barrel of oil to time spent with friends, and opulence above all else, luxury unrelenting, prestige, presentation and a good name, forever out of reach, teasing us like the school bully, slapping us around and yet we return, again and again, unable to help ourselves because it had always seemed that our desires are carved in stone, and our fate is an immutable law, an unchangeable doom that have been hung around our necks to the very end of our lives, like some beast of burden toiling at the fields, constantly reminded by our spouse and children, that our lives are no longer our own, that it is a shared existence, that we are a family now, and that we are accountable for any misstep or deviation as we walk this tightrope, with our heads bowed and arms outspread, one after another in single file, within a massive circus that attracts the masses like flies and entertains them with tamed animals and the occasional clown, who struts upon the stage with a face full of garish make-up to perform his rehearsed slapstick, again, a routine we have already witnessed a billion times, each time revitalized with minor variations, and when it is over, we clap and cheer, and we say that it was enjoyable, but still the tightrope looms before us, swaying and stretching into the foreseeable distance, its ends shrouded in shadow, and the person ahead has already started to move, while the person behind clears his throat suggestively, as if to hint that it was high time you were on your way, now that your dose of entertainment was over, that it was once again time to drown yourself in good old fashioned work, those dumbed down operations a chimp could be trained to do, and which you yourself take pride in, with your chin tucked down to your chest, as you stare at your feet, then at the wire, then past the wire into the dark dark fathomless abyss below, the very heart of the one unspeakable nightmare all fellow tightrope walkers share — an irreversible, irrevocable fall from grace into an unknown void, unimaginable to those still safe on their perches, although the perverse idea does cross their minds now and then, that maybe the grace of the balancing act is overrated, and a fall is just the very medicine that would rouse the audience, like bonfire flames licking higher and higher into the starry sky, burning forever as permanent constellations beyond the desperate reaches of our conditioned existence.

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